I just finished reading Hannu Rajaniemi's Quantum Thief trilogy: 'The Quantum Thief', 'The Fractal Prince', and 'The Causal Angel'. (The official name of the trilogy is the Jean le Flambeur series, named after one of the chief protagonists, but everyone seems to call it the Quantum Thief trilogy instead.) Most visions of society after the singularity … Continue reading A darker vision of the post-singularity: The Quantum Thief trilogy
The other day, I did a post engaging in speculation on, assuming we don't discover a completely new physics, what I thought an interstellar civilization might look like. In summary: Given special relativity, travel faster than the speed of light is impossible. This has been verified by innumerable experiments, and nothing in nature has been observed to … Continue reading Greg Egan’s Amalgam is close to the most likely interstellar civilization
Steve Morris clued me in to this article: Worm ‘Brain’ Uploaded Into Lego Robot | Singularity HUB. Can a digitally simulated brain on a computer perform tasks just like the real thing? For simple commands, the answer, it would seem, is yes it can. Researchers at the OpenWorm project recently hooked a simulated worm brain to … Continue reading Worm ‘Brain’ uploaded into robot, which then behaves like a worm
This weekend, I watched X-Men: Days of Future Past, which I enjoyed. This post discusses some aspects of that movie, most notably the ending, so if you haven't seen it yet and don't want to be spoiled, you might consider skipping it until later. In the movie, mankind is in a devastating war with the mutants, … Continue reading X-Men: Days of Future Past, and multiple instances of a mind
It looks like Bill Nye, the science guy, is coming out with a new book on evolution, with an excerpt at Popular Science: Is The Human Species Still Evolving? | Popular Science. We cannot step away from evolution. Our genomes are always collecting mutations, and we are always making mate selections. Are humans preferentially mating with … Continue reading Is the human species still evolving? Of course.
Click through for full sized version and the red button caption. via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. The idea that only humans have an afterlife has always been one that I find interesting. If only humans have them, at what point in our evolutionary history did we obtain them? Did Neanderthals have them? What about Homo-erectus? If … Continue reading Who was the first person to have an afterlife?
I finally watched the movie, Transcendence. I had commented a while back, when the trailer came out, the problems I had with what appeared to be the central premise of the film. Since then, there's been a lot of harsh reviews of the film. I did find a lot of silliness in it, but overall … Continue reading Transcendence
Popular Science has a brief article laying out the three steps to terraform Mars. The recipe for creating a habitable planet turns out to be surprisingly simple: Just add water—and atmospheric gases. Mars has both, relics from four billion years ago when the planet was warm and wet. “When it comes to Mars, and only … Continue reading Transforming ourselves takes a lot less energy than terraforming Mars
Are we headed for a Singularity? Is it imminent? I write relatively near-future science fiction that features neural implants, brain-to-brain communication, and uploaded brains. I also teach at a place called Singularity University. So people naturally assume that I believe in the notion of a Singularity and that one is on the horizon, perhaps in … Continue reading The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears – Charlie’s Diary
This is a review of Charlie Stross's science fiction novel 'Saturn's Children'. It's been out for a few years, but I wanted to read his latest, 'Neptune's Brood', which is a sequel (of sorts), so I started with this one. Stross describes a universe where humans have gone extinct, but where the sentient machines that … Continue reading After human extinction, a robot civilization?